Evansville, IN asked in Internet Law for Indiana

Q: Does putting up a website make me subject to being sued in any state in the country?

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: Anybody that can pay the filing fee can file a lawsuit. Your question is whether a court in another state could exercise personal jurisdiction over you. This question is extremely complex and depends upon a variety of criteria. The leading case on the subject, Zipp Mfg, suggested a sliding scale, where it would depend upon what the web site contains. So, for example, the more interactive the web site, the more likely it would be to furnish jurisdiction, where a completely passive site (like a fixed billboard) would be less likely to result in the exercise of jurisdiction.

I fear I have given only the briefest snapshot, but if you google the Zippo case, you should come up with tons of secondary discussion about it.

Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: Not usually. You can always be sued in the jurisdiction where you are located. However, in general, you will only be liable for in other states if you cause harm in the other state. This issues is discussed here: http://www.iniplaw.org/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?search=rodent&IncludeBlogs=559

Paul Overhauser

317 891-1500


2 users found this answer helpful

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